The Armoury Museum in the Moscow Kremlin owns the most important collection of Elizabethan and Stuart silver in the world. Between 1983 and 1985 I tried to bring about an Exchange exhibition between the Armoury and the Victoria and Albert Museum on behalf of the British Government. It was an idea whose time had not come. Today, with the climate between our countries as warm as when these works were made, Sotheby's is very proud to be in a position to welcome back a selection of the 'Kremlin Silver' after so many years away. That we can do so is a testimony to the enlightened policy of the Director of the State Museums of the Moscow Kremlin, Madame Rodimtseva, who has not only enabled the works to leave Russia for England, in some cases for the first time, but has entrusted them to Sotheby's. We are most grateful to her.